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do unto you,
fer for conscience sake, he perceives the beauty of the sacred rule, Whatsoever ye would that others should do
ye cen so unto them: but when the orthodox persecute the heterodox, this pious author winks hard, and can see no great harm in it. No more could Augustine, when, upon second thoughts, but not the wisest, he contended for the doctrine of persecution, in some letters, which Bayle has taken to pieces very handsomely in his Philosophical Commentary ; happy if he had always so exercised his abilities, and had left his Manichæans to shift for themselves! Saralı, says Augustine, and Hagar, are types of the Catholic church and of the Heretics. When Hagar offends her mistress, this is downright rebellion : when Sarah beats Hagar, this is due correction. So is it with the spiritual and the ungodly; they are always at variance, always buffeting and bruising each other, but the bastinadoes of the righteous are sanctified by the good intention, and by the salutary effects.
Socrates, the historian, like an honest man, censures Theodosius, an orthodox bishop, for persecuting the Macedonians, vii. 3. upon which Valesius thus delivers his opinion : Celebris questio est, &c. It is a celebrated and much controverted question, whether it be laeful for Catholics, and particularly for bishops, to persecute heretics. I think it is necessary to hwe recourse to a DISTINCTION. It is certainly unlawful to vex them, as Theodosius did, for the sake of extorting money ; und also to prosecute them as criminals, and to thirst after their blood, as I datins, and some other bishops of Spain acted towards the Priscillianists. But it is, and ever was permitted to the Catholics to implore the aid of princes and magistrates against heretics, that they muy be restrained and kept in order, and that they may not insolently
era't themselves above the Catholics, or insult and deride the Catholic religion. Augustine indeed confesses that he karl formerly been of opinion, that heretics should not be harassed by Catholics, but rather allured by all kind of gentle methods. Yet afterwards he changed his opinion, having learned by experience that the laws made by the emperors against heretics had proved the happy occasion of their conversion; and he observes, thut the converted Donutists had acknowledged that they never should have returned to the church, but have lived und died in their errors, if they had not been, in a manner, incited and attracted, by the punishments and mulcts of the imperial laws. This passage of Augustine, which is very elegant, is in the 48th Epistle to Vincentius, to which may
be added what he has said in the 230 ch. of the first book against Gaudentius.
In some places which Valesius knew, and in some places which he knew not, the Odium Theologicum, like a poisonous tree, has reared its head and spread its arms, and the neighbouring plants, instead of receiving shelter and protection, have sickened and withered beneath its baleful influence; yet was it a friendly covering to weeds and nettles, and the fox lodged safely at its root, and birds of ill omen screamed in its branches.
The groundless surmises of a booby, or of a bigot, have hurt many a man of sense, and qualified him to be registered in an Appendix to Pierius de infelicitate literatorum. Where arbitrary power has prevailed, nothing has proved more profitable than either obsequious dulness, or a political palsy in the head, nodding and assenting to all.
Omnia omnibus annuens, as Catullus says
Opinions Opinions start up, and flourish, and fall into disgrace, and seem to die ; but, like Alpheus and Arethusa, they only disappear for a time, and rise into light, and into favour again,
What men call heresy is often a local and a secular crime ; for what is heresy in one century and in one country, is sound doctrine in another; and in some disputes, as in the Nestorian and the Pelagian controversies, to mention none besides, it is a nice thing to settle the boundaries between orthodoxy and heterodoxy, and the only way to be safe is to have recourse to implicit faith, and to imitate the prudent monk, who, when Satan would have drawn him into heresy, by asking him what he believed of a certain point, answered, Id credo quod credit ecclesia. But Quid credit ecclesia? said Satan. Id quod ego credo, replied the other : and Nestorius, if he would have slept in his own bed, should have said, Id credo quod credit sanctissimus Cyrillus. Nestorius perhaps suffered no more than he deserved, because he had been a persecutor himself; but such violent proceedings about such points, in different times and places, have inclined
many persons to suspect that in those assemblies, some were talkative, quarrelsome, disingenuous, and overbearing, whilst others were passive dolts, and pedarü senatores. Every age has continued to produce wranglers of this kind, who now have the rest which they would not give other people ; and whose works follow them, and are at rest also.
Thcodosius the first, made severe laws against heretics, about A. D. 380, and required of all his subjects that they should follow the faith of Pope Damasus, and of Peter of Alexandria ; for which, and such like holy and wholesome ordinances, to be found in
the Theodosian code, he is extolled by Tillemont and many others, as a man of God. The best thing that can be said for him is, that he was not, on these occasions, as bad as his word, but threatened more than he performed. As to Damasus, whatsoever his faith was, it had been better for him to have lived and died a presbyter, and one cannot say of him that he fought a good fight, when he fought for his bishopric. His braves slew many of the opposite party, and great was the fury of the religious ruffians on both sides, in this holy war. Pious times, and much to be honoured or envied !
What is to be done then with one who is, or who is accounted, or whispered to be erroneous ? Why, Distinguendum est : you must not shed his blood, nor enrich yourself with his spoils ; but you may contrive other ways to bring him to a right mind, or to beggary: ways, which resemble the method of Italian assasins, to beat a man with satchells of sand; no blood is shed, and no bones are broken, but the patient dies by the operation.
A gentleman and a scholar, as Valesius was, should have nothing to do with such distinctions : he ought rather to distinguish himself from the vulgar by a larger mind, by detesting persecution in every shape, were it only for this reason, that it is the bane of letters ; by accounting all the learned and ingenious, wheresoever dispersed, or howsoever distressed, as brethren, and by loving and serving them, unless they be rude and insolent, vitious and immoral. Would Valesius have had such countrymen of his as Joseph Scaliger, Isaac Casaubon, Salmasius, Bochart, Blondel, Daillé, sent to inhabit the bastille, or the gallies? would he have had them directed, corrected, and insulted, by a king's VOL. I.
confessor, and by persons who knew nothing besides their breviary, if peradventure they knew that? This is not said to insinuate that the Gallican church had not in his time, and in all times, many excellent men: nothing can be farther from the author's thoughts; but the fomenters of oppression and persecution have been usually either void of letters, or learned dunces at the best, and have accounted it an insufferable impudence in any man to be wiser, and more knowing than themselves. How could Valesius even name Augustine, who, ingenious as he certainly was, and respectable as he may be on other accounts, yet by the weak things which zeal, not ill nature, urged him to say on this subject, tarnished in some degree his own reputation, and espoused a cause, full of absurdities which all the wit of man cannot defend, and of
spots which all the water of the ocean cannot wash off !
In this world, in this great infirmary, among other distempers with which poor mortals are afflicted, is an intemperate zeal, or a spirit of party, which, when it arises to a certain pitch, is not to be restrained by the gentle bands of reason : they are broken asunder, as a thread touched with fire. The imagination then plays her part, and raises an ugly phantom, and the man spends his rage upon it, and sometimes by mistake strikes at his friend,
-et fit pugil, et medicum urget. Whilst the inconveniencies are no greater than this, we should patiently bear with the defects and disorders of such men, as with the frowardness of those who are in pain, and, as Seneca says, more optimorum parentum, qui maledictis suorum infantium arrident; like tender parents, who smile at the little perversities of their children ; for there are old as well as young chil